Lockdown Day 18

Is there anything better than sharing something you enjoy or are proud of, and having the person you share it with enjoy it? Well, probably. The birth of a child, winning money, getting a birthday gift. Maybe a lot of things. But it’s still a pretty damn good feeling.

I’m a big fan of all these challenges that are getting bandied about on Instagram. Not necessarily for the content or likes, moreso for the fun inherent in having people try something new. The community spirit in getting friends involved in a daft idea. I know it’s what I grew up doing and I surely can’t be alone in that. Not that I’ve been challenged to anything (yet) but that’s immaterial. It still brings joy.

The only challenges I do have going on are small things. Not for likes or anything like that. Tasks given with no reward or forfeit other than pride or shame. Small things that will test somebody or push them to achieve. Something that you would always want to do but deem it not as helpful in your day-to-day as say, doing the dishes. Something that’s always on your list but is the first to get sacrificed. Something that you need an excuse, or someone to tell you to do it.

I have one of these going at the minute. Less of a challenging challenge, more of an excuse to do something I always wanted to do for myself, but never found the time or mindset. I’ve mentioned group video calls as being the quarantine version of group therapy. Liken this then to the homework a shrink would set you. A small task to improve yourself and give a positive boost.

16/12 – Sunday

It’s fucking Christmas time! Yeaaah! Though the more Christmases that pass the more the whole season becomes almost an ever-growing list of chores and stuff to accomplish before C-day comes and the jobs are replaced by socialising and visiting obligations. Which, it has to be said, isn’t as bad as I’m making out, since it’s hard to find a genuinely unhappy person when you’re there spreading cheer, alcohol, presents and, importantly, time.

‘cos the thing I’m the most excited about right now is having all that free time. Any one of my close friends will be able to tell you, I rarely sit still. Take today for example, a nondescript Sunday in December. I woke up late after a disturbed night sleep, about the latest I have in the past year, and since then I’ve done the washing, deep cleaned the oven, visited grandparents, prepped meals for the next three/four (depending on appetite levels) lunches, had a bath, skated (flatground only – the park is soaked…where it isn’t frozen over), made a separate lunch and dinner for today, came up with a variation on the flappy bird game, trained a little, researched stick’n’poke tattoo kits, and am now balls deep in my first blog post in a long ass while, all before 830pm. Crushing this ‘relaxed Sunday’ shit.

But yeah, tend not to sit on my ass a great deal. I have Plans over the Christmas period. Note the capital P. Plans. Puh-luh-ah-uhn-uhs. PLANS. Of course I still need to hit up all the family stuff, eat babies and kiss turkeys and so on, but this will be the first time I have an extended period of free time in my own home. So maybe 75% of the crap I need to do, for once there’s only me standing in the way.

The other 25%, unfortunately, will be postponed by a lack of funds, time, skills and freedom. All of which are attainable, only not in the time limit. I’m back on the ‘I want to crush all adventures and extreme sports’ mindset. Which doesn’t work when you’re on an office bitch salary, tied to the location, no option to work remotely (personal bug there), and (much as I love them) family ties. Like everyone I’ve thought of dropping it all and going AWOL, but I’d honestly prefer to stick some serious work in now, then maybe be able to jet off at leisure in a couple years time.

Which, let’s be honest, won’t happen as an office bitch, but that’s the main drive to smash as much as feasibly possible in my spare time, work at all these other hobbies and interests as much as possible, then maybe, maybe, one day with a whole load of effort, and an equal amount of luck, the hobby will become a job and I’ll never have to work again. I truly believe there’s no real limit to capability, it’ll just take a buttload of hard work.

So let’s get crackin’.


I had a conversation yesterday with one of my closest friends, he writes occasionally too, sparked by the famous speech from Any Given Sunday. Goes like this;

Anyway, a bit more background. We’re both a bit dissatisfied with life, for various reasons. Have been for a while. And he makes a good point about motivation. Specifically about how fleeting it can be, how quickly your mood can swing from ready to take on the world to wanting to curl up under a blanket and hide from the world. The point he made was about how useless it is to rely on a feeling, one that is as changing as the wind, to be able to be productive in your personal goals. Instead, he put to me, we should cultivate discipline. Self-discipline. Discipline to form new, productive, positive habits.

It’s accepted there’d be days where the new action (the one to make habitual, automatic) wasn’t done. Fine, everyone slips up. The thing to do was accept it, come back and make it twice as many days before the next slip up. Grow the discipline.

Anyway, I’m not saying he slipped up, but he was feeling lower and definitely less determined. So I sent him the video and said check this out, see if it does anything. So he did. And the verdict? ‘I don’t think it really applies to me.’

I took a second or two pause to think about it. Asked him what he meant. ‘I’m after self-improvement, I’m not after inches.’ Which I took another of seconds to process, because to me, it’s all about inches. Everything. Especially self-improvement.

My thought is, right, self improvement isn’t gonna come all in a lump. You’re not going to wake up one day and be the perfect image of yourself, it’s just not going to happen like that. It’s a chain of constant, incessant steps taken. It’s  going to bed thinking I’ve done well today. Tomorrow I’m going to do this just a little better. Tomorrow I’ll do this faster. Tomorrow I’ll have learnt this. This is the discipline coming in, the discipline to keep strong, to say to yourself that you don’t have a choice. This must be done.

On Saturday Night

I’d love to say I’m out partying. Nahhhhhh I honestly prefer sitting chilling at home with a whisky. Well. Ideally I’d love to be out with the likes of Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, The Rock et al but I honestly don’t have the credentials. Or probably energy. Definitely not the money. It sounds better to say it’s the money reason so let’s go with that.

Money does make the world go round. Yeah you can get the students/liberals/whatever saying that when we as a species achieve true equality the case will be different, but at the minute it’s not. I don’t have a great deal of money that I can go out and spend ridiculously (saving for a mortgage and a wedding at the same time, I still have enough that I can say I’m not indebted to anyone) but the fact is it does move the world. Rather, it moves the political parties that move the world. So there.

The fact is I’m lazy. I’d like to generalise for the sake of the impact of the statement but not quite clued up enough on 25 year olds around the world, but certainly I myself am a lazy shit. Seriously. Given the chance I’d live my life in my own home, in my boxers, playing WoW, drinking beer and eating pizza. Occasionally going to the gym. Yeah I’m lazy but I like to look good. Sue me.

Definitely not me. Props to South Park.

But yeah. I have had a few wines so shouldn’t be trusted with profound worldviews or suchlike but at the minute I figure nobody but me will say what I want to say. Which makes what I want to say more dramatic than it actually is. And important. It’s really not, and truth be told if you’re reading this then you’ve already got a good enough handle on my scatterbrain mindset to realise I talk bollocks at the best of times so the following should be good.

Believe in yourself.

I don’t. I’d like to, and I have a lot of ‘Yeah, let’s do this’ schemes/ideas that never really get off the ground, regardless of how good they actually are or how suited to me they are. The point is you should never let people tell you not to do what you want to do. Not to go where you want to go. Definitely not to feel how you feel. How would they know? They will never be you, they will never go through what you’re going through, even if most of what you’re going through happens to be because of a mental illness, or because of something that happened to you that shouldn’t have happened to you. If you go through adversity, even if it’s completely personal, you should come out the other end fighting. Maybe nobody will know. Maybe nobody can see from looking at you.

But if you look in the mirror and see yourself, and can safely say that you’re doing your best, and being the best you can be, then no matter what anybody says, you’re doing the right thing.

Keep going.